There’s an advert doing the rounds on social media for naked cleaners. It’s primarily aimed at the naturist community and they’re offering £45 an hour, whatever your age, shape or size.
I’m not averse to people taking their kit off for cash. I was a life drawing model when my daughters were toddlers, so someone gawping at my nooks and crannies holds no fear for me. No, the only really scary thing about cleaning-in-the-buff is the actual cleaning.
I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid housework. In fact, if the husband legged it, I’d probably spend more time searching for a dusting professional than a potential new partner. When we moved in together, he used to play a little stand-off game in his head; silently seething at the grimy dust balls poking out from under the oven, inwardly imploding at the ever-widening sticky brown ring in the can cupboard. He thought I was holding out, standing my ground, not giving in to the feminist stereotype which insists women can’t live in mess and men need a garage. But I’d just not noticed the muck. I’d won a game I didn’t even know I was playing when he finally buckled and bleached the blackened plug hole.
I blame my mother (because historically, that’s what daughters do best). She hated domesticity, so when I was growing up, most of the housekeeping was blown on home help. I remember Hilda; lovely, but a bit on the niffy side due to her polyester overall. Then there was the one with the children who were always in bother – she slung her hook due to circumstances still unknown. But my favourite was Gladys, who bought us Christmas jumpers from the market and always had a Regal King Size on the go when she was vacuuming. Ironing also counts as cleaning in my book. I wear everything, even emergency leggings, before cranking up the limescaled steam machine. Actually, if I were to apply for the naturist job, at least I wouldn’t have to worry about a well-pressed uniform. Driving to work could prove distracting for zebra crossers though, as once they copped an eyeful, they might find it tricky to discern which was more shocking; a disrobed driver or the state of my people carrier. As I write this, two travel mints are on their 16th day of festering in the footwell.
I believe that lowering your cleaning standards gives you more time to enjoy friends and family. Nobody’s last words should be “Thank goodness I was thorough with my skirting boards.” When it comes to the final curtain, I’d like my ashes scattering in the house to remind those still living that cleaning is optional and there’s more to life than dust.